Shami Chakrabarti defends son's private education: 'I live a charmed and privileged life'

Posted On: 
9th October 2016

New shadow minister Shami Chakrabarti has defended herself against allegations of hypocrisy over sending her son to private school, admitting she lives a "charmed and privileged life".

Baroness Chakrabarti speaking at Labour's anti-semitism report launch

Although she opposes selection in state education, the Shadow Attorney General has opted to send her son to Dulwich College, the south London private school formerly attended by Nigel Farage.

The human rights lawyer has also been the subject of controversy after being made a Labour peer shortly after completing a report for Jeremy Corbyn on the issue of anti-semitism. 

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The party's deputy leader Tom Watson said it had been a "mistake" from Jeremy Corbyn to award the former head of Liberty a peerage.

This morning she hit back at suggestions she was being hypocritical by educating her own child outside the comprehensive sector.

"Well, what I would say about that is that I live in a nice, big house and eat nice food and my neighbours are homeless and go to food banks - does that make me a hypocrite or does that make me someone who is trying to do best not just for my own family, but for other people's families too?" she told ITV's Peston on Sunday.

"This thing about selection - if you've got money you will always be alright, if you don't have money in this country you are increasingly not alright and that's why I've joined the Labour party."

"You know, I'm not going to get into the personal stuff because there is a child in this world who didn't choose to be Shami Chakrabarti's child and I'm gonna leave it at that," she added.

A Labour source suggested last week that the decision over schooling was influenced by Baroness Chakrabarti's former husband, lawyer Martyn Hopper.

"Each parent has their own views on where their child goes to school, as do children themselves," the source told the Mail on Sunday.